Monday, November 26, 2007

Warmth in the Cold

It's finally getting cold outside. Over the past week, we've had nighttime temps in the 20s (daytime highs in the 40s).

It's still not cold enough to be my kind of weather, but it's chilly enough to warrant our starting the wood stove.

Elsie and Kenya couldn't be happier.

They love curling up in front of a blazing fire -- sometimes so close I think the radiating heat will singe their whiskers (but it never does).

There's just something about the fire that attracts them.

When it's cold outside, there's nothing like a warm fire or a steaming beverage to nudge the chill away. Kenya and Elsie know this.

We do, too.

But I think it's the same when we experience "cold" circumstances or "cold" relationships. If we're going to survive them, we need to draw close to other sources of warmth..

I'm thinking about a couple of things as I write this:
  • a long-standing, trusted relationship (of decades) that's grown cold
  • my old workplace (a place of function, productivity, and teamwork, but rarely genuine warmth)
  • a church issue (again, a place of function and productivity, but again little warmth)
  • misunderstandings and false accusations
  • a really difficult family issue
If I'm going to survive these things, that is, if I'm going to remain healthy (relationally, emotionally, spiritually, psychologically), I need to draw near to those things that warm me.

It's simple for Elsie and Kenya; a burning wood-stove provides their seasonal warmth. What provides warmth for me when circumstances or people grow cold?

  • playing with my canine kids (of course! -- would you expect anything else?)
  • relaxing with my husband
  • giggling with my human kids
  • hanging out with warm, caring friends
  • curling up with a hot cup of tea and a good book
  • doing those things I know I'm good at or feel good about
  • re-reading saved notes of encouragement others have sent me over the years (I have something called a "joy box" where I keep notes like these)
  • inhaling nature
  • writing entries for my blogs
  • interacting with you all
Life's been pretty cold here lately. But your interaction with me (via comments) and the other things on my list above keep my relational heart beating strong.

I have a warm, steady life pulse even now, despite recent icy blasts.

And I will. But only as long as I remember to come in from the cold and warm myself by the fire.

Thanks for being a source of warmth for me.

'Til next time,
Joan

4 comments:

nicki said...

hi all,

first of all, your blog is one habit i cant (and dont) want to break. the moment i get to work, i go to your website to read up on updates on the pups. it gives so many tips that i can do with my baby lab girl, pepper.
not a lot of people keep blogs about labs here in the philippines and i wish it were not the case.
keep it up because you have one big fan here. =)

JuliaR said...

I am sending warm thoughts your way in spite of our recently cold weather (and more snow to come!). Both Uma and Rockwell would lie by the fire and I felt obliged to pull them a "safe" distance away. But sparks could come through the mesh on our fireplace and did, melting the not-wool rug in a few places. Didn't want doggie fur to smolder!

teresamc said...

Joan-
I just wanted to let you know - that you and labtails have been a wonderful "source of warmth" to me and my family also! Thanks for sharing your labs, but mostly for sharing your heart with us.

Joan said...

Hey all,

Thanks for your kind words and for sending kind thoughts our way. We can really use them about now.

And thank YOU for including us in your lives. I value your comments and insights more than you know!

Blessings to you all,

Joan